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  • Patrick Jarvis: IPC Can Become 'Model Organization'


    (ATR) International Paralympic Committee presidential candidate Patrick Jarvis says “more is possible” when it comes to promoting the Paralympic Movement.

    IPC presidential candidate Patrick Jarvis (Jarvis)
    “I think that we can work towards being that model organization,” Jarvis tells Around the Rings in an exclusive interview. “When I say model organization, that not only focuses on what we do but how we do that, and specifically, how we do that is through truly reaching out to engage and act as good partners moving forward.

    “There are a lot of things that as an organization you can continue to evolve, develop and grow because the opposite is not a good option,” he continued.

    Jarvis, former president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and IPC Governing Board member, outlines his goals for the IPC’s growth in his manifesto available online. He says he will commit to five areas of focus if elected as the IPC’s next president on Sep. 8 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: sport first, level playing fields, strong partnerships, increased capacity and robust governance.

    He tells ATR that his depth and breadth of experience within the Paralympic Movement – as a Paralympian, businessman and para-sports administrator who helped saved the CPC from bankruptcy – are the attributes the IPC needs in its next leader.

    “I just think in terms of what you’re looking for in a president, it’s my experience having been in the trenches and delivering on a number of projects but also my business experience which took me around the world to get significant international relations experience with projects in developing countries.

    “I would think that if you look at the checklist in what the IPC bylaws seek in a president, I check all of those boxes very well.”

    He adds that the biggest challenge facing the movement is identifying and understanding the unique needs of all the para sport constituents.

    Patrick Jarvis also served as president of the CPC. (Jarvis)
    “We are made up of diverse sports, diverse disability groups and diverse nations,” Jarvis says. “The biggest challenge is to put in systems and process so we can engage with each of those members to understand their unique perspectives and opportunities.”

    Specifically, Jarvis notes that the IPC classification system is a primary source of concern among the athletes that he hopes to build his policies around.

    “On the classification code, we need an appropriate and very robust – what I call a logic model – in terms of looking at the planning and work done on the classification code. The next step is to do rigorous checks and balances to make sure that it’s being implemented and adjusted accordingly and we need to engage athletes in that process because that has a direct impact.”

    Another issue facing the Paralympics includes the Russian doping crisis and whether the country will compete in next March’s PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics. Jarvis supports the IPC decision at Rio 2016 to ban the Russian Paralympic team but hopes a reasonable resolution can be made soon.

    “We can’t have any shortcuts, I think there’s certainly a consensus amongst our community that we want the Russian athletes back competing but we want them back competing with absolute assurance they have systems in place to monitor, protect and adhere to the anti-doping code,” Jarvis says.

    As to whether the IPC has enough of a voice in the International Olympic Committee, Jarvis says he hopes to strengthen the relationship between the two bodies but that he has no concern that the IPC will not have a say in the 2024 and possibly 2028 host city election.

    “It’s not an issue for me at this time,” he says. “I talk about building more robust relationships, but it’s a conversation we certainly at the IPC want to engage the IOC, that the representatives of the Paralympic Movement need more of a voice in that selection process.”

    While some of Jarvis’ competitors, notably Andrew Parsons and John Petersson, have called for the creation of Youth Paralympic Games, Jarvis tells ATR he does not support the proposition.

    “I’ve taken a look with what’s happened with the IOC’s Youth Olympic Game,” he says. “There may be a time in our evolution it makes sense, but right now just knowing the unique challenges each of our regions and our nations face, I think there may be other things we need to undertake and get very solid before we pursue Youth Games.

    “I think it’s potentially another financial and capacity burden on our members.”

    Jarvis is competing with Parsons, Petersson and Zhang Haidi for the IPC presidency on Sep. 8. The former president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee says each candidate would be able to expand on the legacy of outgoing IPC chief Philip Craven but tells ATR his focus is on driving further change and developing the next generation of leaders.

    Stay tuned to Around the Rings for one-on-one interviews and ATRadio podcasts with each of the candidates as the election nears.

    Click here to read about candidate Andrew Parson’s goals for the Paralympic Movement.

    Click here to read about candidate John Petersson’s goals for the Paralympic Movement.

    Written by Kevin Nutley

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